Saturday, April 30, 2011

Even the downs are ups.

Today was a day of ups and downs.

I had my Celebrating Home Fundraiser for Japan, which was a complete bust.  Literally only one other person besides the couple I had helping me showed up.  And the thing is, you would think I would've been really disappointed or embarrassed, but I wasn't.  I've been praying a lot about Celebrating Home and whether to continue with it.  Lately, booking parties has been like pulling teeth.  It's almost like the vat has run dry around here.  Plus, I'm much less motivated now that I'm dealing with early intervention and speech therapy for Jackson, leading the college ministry with Bryan, and really trying to make something of my blog.  So, I felt like today God was saying, "This is it for now."  That doesn't mean I'm forever done with it or I won't have the occasional party, but I think Celebrating Home will be placed on the back burner for at least the summer until I can get all my ducks in a row.

Thing is, while we were setting up a really cool thing happened.  Our Pastor's wife, Shari, noticed one of the neighbors of the church putting two really nice cribs out on the curb for trash pickup.  They were cherry finish and need a little TLC but they even convert into toddler beds.  We snatched them up quick and pulled them into the church to use in the nursery.  If we wouldn't have been there, we wouldn't have had the chance to get them; and, I'm proclaiming, in the name of Jesus, that this means the church is about to see some major growth!

A few of my ESCAPE (college ministry) girls came over after the fundraiser, hung out for a bit and then we took Jackson to the park to listen to a local band of professors (the simple joys of living in a college town) and play on the playground.  Jackson had a whale of a time swinging, sliding, and just checking everything out.  He really is so funny about things sometimes.  He doesn't run around like you would see most toddlers do.  He just walks around, looking at everything and checking out all the scenery and all the people.  At one point, he was mesmerized by the band.  One day Little Bug, one day!

Can I play?

He's thinking, "Not bad for my opening act."

All day Jackson's teetered on being sick.  He had a fever last night and has had a slight cough today, but not enough to slow him down.  Well, tonight was a different story -- he definitely didn't feel well.  I hate when he's sick but I loved the extra cuddles I got all evening.  He just wanted to sit with me and color on his new Magna Doodle (thanks Morgan!) or watch Nick jr.  And, I ate up every minute of it.

God has given me so many wonderful blessings that even days that should be full of downs, end up being full of ups!  Thank you Jesus for answering prayers, for growth of the body, for friends and family, and most of all -- for Your unending love.

"He has made everything beautiful in it's time..." - Ecclesiastes 3:11


Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter weekend.

I know it's been a few days since I've blogged.  5 actually.  Thursday, Mrs. Robin laid her 4th and final egg.  Things have been so crazy over the past few days that I never got around to posting the picture.  So, here it is.

Is it just me or does it seem like one is being left out?

There won't be too much to update you all on until the weekend.  Robin fun fact:  Robin eggs hatch 12-14 days after the first egg is laid.  So, I'll start watching closely starting Friday and keep you posted from there!

Like I said, the weekend was pretty crazy.  Here's a small recap of each day just to fill you in on how our second Easter with Jackson went.

Thursday, I went shopping for an Easter dress.  I was hoping to find a maxi dress (aka long, cotton dress) just so I wouldn't have to get a spray tan.  But, I was pessimistic about the outcome because I've rarely been able to find a long dress that fits in the bust but isn't too long.  Well, Maurices came through in the clutch this year!  I found a beautiful brown and teal maxi dress that I could wear a tank under (gotta be modest for Easter Sunday!) that pretty much fit.  It was a little too long when wearing it with flats, but not too bad.  I planned on wearing this awesome pair of strappy, teal heels that I've had for years but only worn a few times. When I went to put them on once I got home, I quickly realized they didn't fit anymore.  I can that pregnancy for that one!  So I just wore them with flip flops, which I'm not going to complain about.  If I could, all I'd own would be flip flops.  The best thing about the dress is that it's going to awesome this summer, too, without a tank under it.  I'm super pumped about it.

On Friday, I found out all too quickly that I can not, under any circumstance, drink coffee anymore.  I had a terrible migraine when I woke up so I figured some Motrin and a little caffeine would help. Bryan made some coffee and I had a cup.  Within an hour I was trembling uncontrollably.  I felt sick to my stomach, my head was still hurting, and felt out of my mind.  I pretty much gave up caffeine when I was pregnant with Jackson, and since then I can hardly drink it without having some type of adverse reaction.  I am seriously bummed about it too.  I LOVE coffee...the smell, the taste, the idea of sitting with my husband in the morning with a cup and reading the Bible or paper.  But, nope, not me....can't have it anymore.  Sigh.

Saturday, we had a lazy morning and then headed to the store to get Easter goodies, food for breakfast and for lunch the next day.  I reflected a lot on Saturday about how we focus on Good Friday and Easter Sunday but we don't think about the importance of the Saturday in between.  Can you imagine how victorious Satan felt?  Christ was dead in the grave.  I'm sure he was throwing one Hell of a party! (Get it? haha)  Then Sunday came, Jesus rose, and he was defeated!!  It makes me think of how often this happens in my life.  Maybe I'm feeling down or unworthy, maybe I'm struggling with the Lord...and I'm sure Satan feels like he's he finally has a grip on my life.  Then BAM!  Jesus comes to my rescue again, pulling me out of my pit, showing me grace and how much He loves me.  Satan must be a glutton for punishment.

Easter Sunday was great!  We had breakfast at church before service, took lots of pictures (in most of which my son is a tan and blue blur) and had a fantastic service to celebrate that Jesus is alive!

Yes, I stood my child on a table in an effort to get him to be still.
Clearly, he's embarrassed.  

Pastor gave a great message, worship was fantastic, and the praise team even sang my favorite song - "How He Loves" by John Mark McMillan (I'll post the video below).  After service we had college students over for lunch that couldn't go home for the weekend and basically hung out with them for the rest of the day.  Jackson has his first official crush on one of them, which is super cute.  I think she eats it up too.

She's pretty and she likes to color.  To him, she's perfect!

Oh!  I almost forgot. We did have one minor catastrophe after church.  I was fixing the salad for lunch, putting the scraps down the garbage disposal when it completely came apart under the sink.  Water and food particles went everywhere.  It took a good hour to get everything cleaned up and put back together, but Bryan and I did it.  We were pretty proud of ourselves too.  Team Parsons saves the day!  I was just glad I didn't have to wash dishes in the tub or spend $175 for a plumber to come out on Easter Sunday.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

And there were three!

Mrs. Robin laid her third egg today!  I'm anxious to see if this will be the last egg she lays or if she'll lay more.  Typically robins only lay three eggs but they can lay up to six.  So, we'll see.

You know how I said yesterday that robins lay there eggs mid-morning?  Well Mrs. Robin is dead-set on blowing that theory out of the water.  At 12:15 today I checked the nest and still there were only 2 eggs.  Then at 2, I put Jackson down for a nap and checked the nest again before I laid down to take a nap myself.  Still only two eggs.  I woke up at 3:45, and finally she'd laid her 3rd egg!  Like I said, before, I get it...I'm not a morning person either.

The third egg is the one at the top.
It's slightly larger than the other two.

Last night, I was terrified for Mrs. Robin and her babies.  We had really severe weather and around midnight the wind was blowing the rain so hard against the back of our house that I thought there was no way the next would survive the storm.  Bryan and I sat in the bathtub (don't worry there was no water and we were fully clothed) with the blinds up just waiting for a flash of lightning so bright that we could see if she and the nest were still there.  After a few minutes, the sky lit up and we saw Mrs. Robin, holding strong, sitting in the nest protecting her babies!  She was  looking right at us, and I swear it almost seemed like she was saying, "Help me!"  Well you did good, Mrs. Robin,  You protected your home and your babies.  Well done, girl, well done!

Robin fun-fact:  Robins lay anywhere from 3 to 6 eggs per nest.  But all of those eggs, aren't necessarily fertilized.  After the babies hatch, the female robin will push the unfertilized, unhatched eggs out of the nest.  That's why a lot of people find robin's eggs in their yard.  Typically, it's not by accident that they've "fallen" out of the nest.  So, don't fret if you ever come across one.  Most likely, there's not a chick inside.  


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Eight goals and two eggs later...

Our appointment with our intervention caseworker went really well today.  Can I just say how much I like her?  This girl is a thousand times better than the lady that came to evaluate Jackson.  She didn't make me feel stupid or make me feel like Jackson was stupid, once.  Actually, she kept commenting on how smart Jackson was as she kept trying to hide her purse from him but he'd manage to find it every time.  She even took a break from talking about Jackson to chat with me about the latest season of The Bachelor, which we ended up having to put a stop to because I think we could've talked about it for hours!  :)

She asked me more specific questions about what Jackson could and couldn't do in several aspects of his development - sleeping, eating, bathing, communication, discipline, etc.  Based on my answers she set a list of 8 goals for the intervention teacher to work on him with.  I was really impressed with the goal setting.  She set goals for Jackson even for things we weren't concerned about, not because we should be concerned, but just because they can help make it easier and quicker for him to learn.  I thought that was so neat!  She said they have to have at least 6 goals, so they like to help parents do some of the more tasking stuff just because they can.  Hey, I'll take all the help I can get!

Here are Jackson's goals (not in the exact wording b/c I'm having to recall them from memory):

1.  To speak more words and use baby sign language.
2.  To respond to gestures and verbal commands/requests.
3.  To point at body parts and make animal noises.
4.  To eat with a spoon/fork and eat off of a plate.
5.  To drink out of a sippy cup that requires him to tip it up. (He only uses the straw kind so he doesn't get tipping the cup - totally our fault for not introducing the other kind to him.)
6.  To understand and respond to time-out.
7.  To occupy himself with toys without our presence for longer periods of time (he kind of does this now, I just want him to be better at it and not so reliant on tv).
8.  And there was one more but I just can't remember it!! :)

She also answered all the questions I barraded her with kindly and succinctly.  Even though Jackson may reach all of the goals we've set in a matter of a few months, he will receive intervention for at least a year.  After a full year, they will test him again and if he is still behind he'll continue until age 3.  If not, he'll be done.  After age 3, if he is still behind, he will qualify for free preschool at a local state-funded preschool.  She told me all about the one we'd go to - even saying it was one of the best preschool programs in the state!

After she answered all my questions about the program she told me that the intervention teacher would be calling me within a week to set up a schedule for every week (1 hr/week) to work with Jackson.  She said she'd also be calling me to set up a time for Jackson to be evaluated for speech therapy as well as communication intervention.  I was caught off guard by that because I thought they would be the same thing.  Turns out, they are two completely different things.  Jackson will have to be evaluated (probably sometime in May b/c they are booked until then) and he will most likely qualify.  They will ask him to repeat and mimic sounds and since I know he isn't really doing that, they will probably start him in speech therapy shortly after.  The thing that bites about speech therapy is that they don't come to your home, you have to go to them.  And, the closest speech therapist to us is an hour away.  So, I'll be driving Jackson an hour one way to have speech therapy for 30 minutes and an hour back home every week.  I'm not thrilled about that, but I'll do what it takes to get my little boy where he needs to be!!  It can't hurt, right?!

Long story, short...I'm feeling better about the whole process and am back to being intrigued and excited to watch Jackson improve over the next year.  I think I got the most excited when she said that they could even help us when we started potty training!


Now, onto Mrs. Robin -- She laid her second egg today!!  It is almost identical in size and color to the first egg.  In fact, I'm not sure which one is which.  The most exciting thing is that I literally watched her as she was laying it.  I could see her squinting her little eyes, and squirming around in the nest trying to coax it out.  It was all while I was showering and getting ready around lunch time.  Then all of a sudden she popped out of the nest and flew away.  And poof...there was egg #2!

Double the fun!

Robin fun fact of the day:  Most birds lay their eggs at sunrise but robin's lay them mid-morning.  Since they eat mostly earthworms, they use the early morning hours to feast before they lay their eggs. 

When I read this I laughed.  Not Mrs. Robin!  She decided to sleep in and waited until lunch time to pop that sucker out!  Hey, I get it, I'm not a morning person/bird either.  Plus, Bryan said she was just singing away this evening after it was already dark.  She's such a night owl robin.  She IS me in bird form!!


Monday, April 18, 2011

The Easter Bunny Robin??

Those who know me well will tell you that I don't like birds.  I am actually fearful of them.  They peck and poop and are unpredictable.  At the Riverbanks Zoo there is an exhibit where you can feed nectar in little cups to these little green birds.  I tried going in once and only lasted about 20 seconds before I ran out.  They were flying all around my head, trying to land on me.  Terrifying.

I also find birds terribly annoying. They wake me up at ungodly hours of the morning with what others describe as their "sweet songs."  I don't find these songs anything but annoying.  Many a morning, I've actually gotten up out of bed, turned off our security alarm, and gone outside to shoo birds away.  Typically, this is accompanied by me yelling, "SHUT UP YOU STUPID BIRD!"

Over the past week and a half, I've been trying to foil a very determined robin from building her nest in the window sill of our master bathroom.  I've literally gone outside several times and actually removed the nest like a crazy lady.  I even went once in the pouring rain.  But she would not be deterred.  I've given up and decided to embrace this bull-headed robin.  Maybe it's because I'm lazy and don't want walk all the way around my house again.

Maybe it's because I think this robin might be a kindred spirit.

No matter how many times I took down her nest, she was undaunted.  Each time, building it a little quicker so that she would beat me to laying an egg.  Because she had to know I am not cruel enough to take down the nest with a baby in it.  And that once she laid that egg, I'd do everything in my power to help her protect it.  She's strong, independent, and a little bit stubborn.  Ok a lot stubborn...yep, she's sounds a lot like me.  And yet, she maybe I can learn a little from Mrs. Robin.

Instead of the Easter Bunny bringing us eggs this week, we have an Easter Robin because she laid her first egg this morning!!  It's bigger than I expected.  I thought it would be the size of one of those Cadbury Mini-Eggs but its about the size of 2-3 of those combined.  It's a beautiful Tiffany's blue and is sitting right smack dab in the center of the nest.

I'm a fan of anything that comes in a small,
Tiffany's blue package.

Mrs. Robin isn't sitting on the nest all day yet because all of her eggs aren't laid yet.  She won't fully incubate the eggs until they are all laid so they all hatch at about the same time (pretty cool, huh?).  I was able to catch a quick pic of her but you'll have to excuse the quality of the picture.  I had to snap it fast and it was through the blinds so I wouldn't scare her off.  Mr. Robin should be sticking by somewhere fairly close, but I haven't seen him yet.

There she is!

I'm looking forward to the next few weeks.  I can't wait to see exactly how many eggs she will lay, how long it will take them to hatch, and what the little baby chicks will look like from hatching until flying the coop.  Hopefully my excitement will last even when I'm woken up by the chirps of baby birds at 5 am (and hopefully I can close the bathroom door to muffle the sound).

I plan on doing a blog post everyday to document the development of Mrs. Robin's little family.  I'll include a little fun fact about robins, too, just to keep it educational.  Maybe I'll just learn stuff about robins.  Maybe Mrs. Robin can actually teach me a thing or two about life.  And maybe, just maybe I'll learn to appreciate another one of God's awesome creations (even if it wakes me at 5 am).

Robin Fun Fact:  Robins will lay anywhere from 3-6 eggs per nest but will only lay one a day.  Can you imagine giving birth every day for six days??  I don't know about you, but I've been through the labor process and that's a lot of work for one day let alone six days in a row!  Go Mrs.'re a beast!!


We need an intervention.

As many of you know, we've been really concerned about Jackson's speech over the past couple of months.  We went to the doctor, had Jackson screened and evaluated, and got the results on Friday.

Jackson does have a 40% delay in his expressive and receptive communication.  At first, I thought I would be glad to hear that he'd qualify for intervention.  If he didn't have at least a 40% delay in one area or a 25% delay in 2 or more areas, then he wouldn't qualify for any help at all.  I was trying have good perspective...ya go into this whole thing thinking that it would be better to qualify for help than have a delay but it not be enough to get help.  But, I was totally heartbroken that he had such a delay.  I was pretty down on Friday but with the help of kind words and testimonials from friends who either had to have speech therapy or know of people who did, I'm feeling much better.

I know that God made Jackson just the way he is for a reason.  He is perceptive and observant, laid back, and easy to get along with.  I don't know why he isn't communicating yet, but I know that God makes everything beautiful in it's time.  God will show Himself in this situation, if He hasn't started to already.  Sometimes I just can't see it right away.

The interventionist comes tomorrow (Tuesday) at 4:30 to set some goals for Jackson and to set up a time each week to come work with him.  She will come for an hour each week.  She'll also give us stuff to do with him everyday.  I'm curious to see how things will play out from here and will keep you all updated on how things go.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Green Thumb...OF DEATH!

Hello.  My name is Lindsey, and, I am a murderer...of all things green.

I was given an Ivy plant by Bryan's roommate in college.  I took it home over the summer and my mom kept it alive for 2 years.  I took it with me when Bryan and I got married and killed it.

When Bryan and I moved into our first apartment we bought two house-plants, Pedro and Napoleon.  I watered them every day.  Within 6 weeks both were dead.

Every Spring I buy beautiful hanging plants.  None of them last long.  In SC, the 100 degree sunlight for most of the day fried them.  Or, it could be that I didn't water them enough to be able to survive hot SC summers.  I'll never tell.

Last Spring, I bought hanging plants that needed constant sun exposure. Turns out, I should've bought ones that thrived in the shade (maybe I should start paying more attention).  They died in about two weeks.  But I had to keep one hung for weeks because a sparrow built a nest and laid eggs in it.  So we had this dry, bare, dead hanging plant on our porch for a good month and a half.  It looked horrible.

Last Fall, I decided I would get mums for the front porch.  They didn't last long either.  I was told by a friend that mums were virtually indestructible.  HAHAHAHAHA...not by me!  I completely forgot to water them and again, they were dead within weeks.

I want to have a green thumb, I really do.  But every plant I purchase and care for dies a slow, agonizing death - either by drowning or dehydration.

I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to plant a small garden this year.  Maybe some tomatoes, green peppers, zucchini/squash, and some herbs.  But I'm terrified that I'll plant all the little seedlings and then kill them all by either showing them too much love or not enough.

Yesterday, I was grocery shopping and I almost lost my mind.  I got everything I needed to make Bryan's favorite pasta and then got to the produce isle.  Wal-mart didn't have fresh basil!  UGH, I HATE WAL-MART!  (Don't ask me if I could've gone to another store...because there aren't any.  I'm bitter about it if you can't tell.)  I furiously pushed my cart to the garden section and threw potting soil, a cute little pot, and the last little basil seedling they had (which is already looking a little frail) in the cart.  I planted him today but am fearful that instead of turning out to be a beautiful, bearer of deliciously sweet and fragrant basil, that I've signed this sweet seedling's death sentence.

Meet Basil (Baah-sil).  That's right, he's British.  

Any words of wisdom on how to keep my sweet, little Basil alive?  Maybe if I can get him to thrive, I can move onto planting a real garden.  Tips on planting said garden are much appreciated too.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Just trying to keep my resolution here...

I debated on doing a blog post this week, because, honestly I've been feeling a little down and didn't want to be whining and complaining (or WAC'n -pronounced 'wackin'- as my mother in law would say, which embarrassed my husband for years).  Can you hear it?  "Oh that Bryan, he's just in his room WAC'n."  LOL!

Anywho, I had to remind myself of my at least once a week blog resolution and figured I at least should update everyone on my resolution progress.

1.  Blog more - Check!
2.  Run a 5k -  I've got two 5k's on the list for fall and I am finally starting my training.  I was unable to start until Daylight Savings Time because Bryan didn't get home most days until the sun was going down.  I got through week one but then the weather turned nasty and I haven't been able to run for a week.  I'm not sure if I'll start over or just pick up where I left off.  We're going to Memphis this weekend so the plan is to get back on track next week and not stop again!
3.  Million Dollar Idea -  Patenting is VERY expensive.  We've looked into options but just can't afford it right now.  I'm keeping the idea in the back of my mind and hope to pursue it a little later in life.  Right now I'm more focused on getting my teaching certificate for TN and taking some photography classes, which I'm VERY excited about!!

I'm going to change gears here and instead of telling y'all about things that have me down lately, I'm going to list things that I'm thankful for.  Hopefully, it'll give me a boost!

1.  Jackson has started to say "Mama" again.  Along with several other words - we're making progress!
2.  A husband, that even though he's worried about money, agrees to a spontaneous weekend trip to cheer up his currently emotionally unstable wife.
3.  Sunshine after days of rain.
4.  A Little Tikes basketball hoop that we all can't get enough of.
5.  The velvet-soft ears of my pups.
6.  Chocolate Cheerios
7.  Celebrating Home's Mango Cooler fragrance gel -  it's like summer in a bottle!
8.  Sloppy, wet kisses of all kinds.
9.  John Mark McMillan
10.  My ESCAPE girls. One in particular right now that is going to stay at my house and keep my pups this weekend so we don't have to pay for a kennel.  Oh, and her imitation of a certain someone to remain nameless singing.  Can't stop laughing about it!!

I could go on, but I'll stop now since I'm smiling! :-D